Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Newsmax TV
on Friday that President Barack Obama is "a lecturer" who feels that "you should listen to him regale you with his brilliance" — "and it's tiresome."
"It's sort of counterproductive," the six-term Kentucky Republican told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth in an exclusive interview. "The president is a very, very liberal guy.
"He's not Bill Clinton pivoting to the middle. He was reluctant, but he ended up signing welfare reform, we had balanced budgets three years in a row.
"Ronald Reagan did the same thing," McConnell continued. "He pivoted and was able to work with Tip O'Neill to raise the age for Social Security and also to do the last comprehensive tax reform.
"What did Reagan and Clinton have in common? They dealt with the Congress they had, not the one they wish they had."
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McConnell, 74, is the author of the new book, "The Long Game: A Memoir."
He also will be interviewed Monday on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show."
To Hayworth, McConnell explained how a shifting Congress dampened Obama liberal agenda.
"This president the first two years got to do everything he wanted: control of the Congress totally, $1 trillion stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank — the whole schmear," he said.
"When the American people revolted in 2010 and changed the House and made me the leader of a larger group in the Senate, I thought maybe President Obama would move to the middle.
"But, alas, he did not — and he didn't after 2012 and he didn't after 2014.
"He's a very liberal guy," McConnell reiterated. "He's pursued his liberal agenda for the last six years after losing the Congress through the regulator: executive orders, regulations of all kinds coming out of virtually every agency in the federal government."
But Congress will keep pushing back, McConnell said, and that includes not holding confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
"We don't have to ask his permission. We don't have to get him to sign anything. The Constitution gives us a totally separate role.
"He picks the nominee, but we decide whether to confirm them," McConnell told Hayworth. "He has the veto pen.
"We were not going to fill this vacancy in the middle of a presidential election year.
"We'd let the American people decide who they wanted to allow to make this appointment, because we know this will determine whether the court goes left or right for the next generation."
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